Seventeen (17) soldiers and 36 volunteer fighters have been killed by suspected jihadists in Northern Burkina Faso.
The army on Tuesday, September 5 said that the security forces were killed while repelling an attack by the militants, in the worst attacks in months in the West African country.
THe country’s desert north has for years been battling armed groups, some with links to Al Qaeda and Islamic State.
In this recent incident, the militants attacked the unit that had been deployed in Koimbri town, Yatenga Province. The soldiers were helping in the resettlement of locals who had been forced out of the area by jihadists more than two years ago.
30 soldiers injured
The attack also left about 30 members of the security forces injured.
In 2022, Burkina Faso saw two military coups triggered by failure by government at stemming jihadist insurgency.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has since condemned the attack, expressing solidarity with the Burkinabe people.
Burkina Faso was suspended from ECOWAS after the military seized power.
– Millions displaced in Burkina Faso –
The Armed Conflict Location & Even Data Project (ACLED) says that since 2015, more than 16,000 civilians, troops and police officers have died in jihadist attacks in Burkina Faso.
ACLED adds that more than 5,000 have died since the start of this year.
More than two million people have also been displaced within the country.